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Dhaka Tribune

Quader refuses to talk to Uber

Update : 28 Nov 2016, 12:27 AM

When Uber, an e-hailing service that connects passengers with drivers, contacted the transport minister on his mobile phone Sunday afternoon, Obaidul suggested Uber should speak to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).

A Road Transport Ministry source said: “Uber representative Utsav Agarwal called the minister over mobile phone. But the minister did not respond to their proposal to meet with him.

“The minister further referred the Uber representative to meet with the BRTA to discuss the issue.”

When the Dhaka Tribune contacted Utsav Agarwal he admitted having called the minister but avoided making any further comment on the matter.

Also read- Obaidul: Not intending to stop Uber services in Bangladesh

On November 25, only three days after its launching in Dhaka amid much fanfare, the Uber taxi service was declared illegal in Bangladesh by the BRTA.

In a media statement, Uber quoted ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak as saying: “I am very excited to have Uber in Dhaka as part of our efforts to build smart cities.”

On Friday, only three days after its launching in Dhaka amid much fanfare, Uber was declared “illegal” by the BRTA.

On November 24, a day before declaring the service illegal, amid continuing debates whether Uber has the legality to operate its services here, the BRTA issued a public notice on newspapers warning Uber drivers and clients against using its service, citing legal issues.

Also read- Uber ban an affront to Digital Bangladesh?

On Saturday Obaidul Quader said: “We are not against Uber but it has to come under the legal framework of this country.”

BRTA Director Nurul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune: “Uber has violated our existing taxicab policy. A company needs BRTA permission for running taxi services in Bangladesh.”

Uber neither employs the drivers, nor does it own any vehicles, enabling it to charge relatively lower fares comparing to conventional taxis.

The ride sharing app has expanded rapidly across the globe and gained popularity since its founding seven years ago.

It currently provides services in more than 500 cities across 74 countries, with over five million Uber trips made each day on average.

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